This morning, I came across this post I wrote back in May of this year. I didn’t post it at that time. When I read it this morning, I was overcome with gratitude. The situation that prompted these feelings has been resolved and I can already see so much that God did through it. In light of that, I want to share these thoughts I had when things weren’t so great. I hope they’ll help someone today!
It’s been a hard week for me, with little sleep. I’m going through something and getting through the day is hard. Getting through the night is harder.
I have this idea that I heard at a Bible study somewhere: If I wake up in the middle of the night, I try to give those hours to God. I can still hear the lady now. “Those are His hours.”
So I find myself awake yet again and I tell myself, “Alright. Gotta give this time to God.” Except I have nothing to offer. Nothing to give. Nothing.
Then I see that in this time of sorrow, He isn’t asking for anything from me. No, He hasn’t kept me awake so I could give to Him, He’s set that time aside so He can give to me.
Because when I try to praise Him and words escape me, songs I learned long go will come into my head and provide the words for me.
When I pray and can’t seem to get past that one imploring prayer I find myself returning to over and over, a scripture will come to mind and I’ll pray His words instead of mine.
When I get stuck trying to produce a litany of thanks, and my mind wanders instead to my troubles and grief, I remember the devotion I read the day before that reminded me to ‘thank God for my problems,’ and suddenly I’ve got a lot to thank Him for. Both for past troubles where I can see now how He was working, and present troubles in which I can trust that He is working.
And when in the middle of all of this, a wave of weakness washes over me and I lose it, I know, I just know, that He hears my cries and loves me.
The temptation in these times is to get my phone out and distract myself with entertainment or work. Or to escape into a fictional world, watching reruns on Netflix or digging into a novel. Or to get up and organize my kitchen cabinets and mop the floors. Something. Anything.
Anything to escape the hours of quiet war as I lay alone with my thoughts and allow myself to feel the panic and grief that I’ve been stuffing down to get through the hard days.
But the truth is that none of those things really work. My mind, no matter how entertained, will start to wander and question and hurt.
I know this because I’ve given into the temptation of distraction. In fact, more times than not, I’ve opted for distraction. But then, I’ll have one of those nights where I’m finally just still. I finally don’t try to steel myself and stop the tears. I finally surrender and let Jesus take care of me and I end up wondering why I’ve been so silly and not done this from the very beginning.
And the things that I’ve known and believed intellectually to be true, actually start to happen.
Joy comes when I sing the Psalms of my childhood. Peace is delivered and I feel settled inside, a little less raw. Faith and trust begin to mean something to me besides the things I’m striving for. They become the things inside of me, which is its own little miracle.
Everything is not suddenly rainbows and sunshine. Waves of sorrow and confusion and worry still pass over me. But there is a deep sense of trust that we’ve got this. He and I.
I want to keep these sleepless nights set aside for God. Even so, I kind of hope that these nights, too, shall pass. Because what I still yearn for is rest. And sleep.
But until that happens, I will take comfort in knowing that I can make it through this day and the night to come.